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MOH Headquarters - 27th May 2021 - The Ministry of Health received seven 16 module GeneXpert machines and laboratory reagents from Global fund and World bank respectively to boost our laboratory services in the management of our patients especially in supporting COVID-19 testing and monitoring of patients in HDU and ICU

GeneXpert is a multiplex testing equipment that can test TB, HIV, VL, EID, HBV, HCV, Ebola, and others. This lab equipment was initially used to support the National TB and Leprosy Program (NTLP) for TB diagnosis in over 253 health facilities. However, due to its capacity to test different diseases and the increasing volumes and the other sample types such as Covid-19, HPV, EID, VL, Ebola, and other lab tests, the current 4-module devices are over-stretched.

This has led to the need to upgrade to 16 module devices especially at high volume sites. Additionally, given the new TB strategy of intensive case finding, where Genexpert is recommended as the 1st line test, more Genexpert devices will be required to cover all other health facilities.

The received Genexpert machines are very timely at this point when we are having a resurgence of covid-19 infections. Decentralized testing will be offered for Covid-19 on top of TB, EID, HPV to increase access to covid-19 testing and reduce the turnaround time.

The Ministry also received reagents for hematology and chemistry from World Bank to support treatment of covid patients in CTUs at RRHs on top of the other diseases

 The PS, Dr. Diana Atwine requests all clinicians to play their roles and responsibilities in ensuring that they utilize these lab services by requesting for the lab tests since we now have the machines and lab reagents at the health facilities.

Furthermore, she requests the ICT Team to ensure that they set up integrated data systems that incorporate Laboratory Information Management Systems(LIMS) into these Genexpert machines so that data is received at the central level for coordination and planning purposes.

To the Hospital Directors, she requests that you work with the Lab department and TB programme to ensure that these Genexpert machines are well installed and put to use. Hospital Directors need to relocate the current 4 module Genexpert machines at their facilities so as to improve access to these lab services to other areas.

She urges suppliers to ensure prompt maintenance and servicing of the Genexpert machines to avoid machine breakdowns which negatively impact patient care

Finally, the PS, Dr. Diana Atwine thanked Development Partners; PEPFAR, WHO, UNICEF, CHAI, and all other partners for the enormous support to the laboratory sector. 

She then handed over the Genexpert machines to Jinja RRH, Moroto RRH, Gulu RRH, Arua RRH, Mbarara RRH, Masaka RRH and Fort Portal RRH.